Amazon.com – Customer Management Process
1 Customer Management Process
Amazon became an art of state for E-Commerce, occupying the first place ahead of JD and Alibaba, and with greater positions a greater responsibility comes along, to retain the users and build better customer relations.
Amazon built a successful CRM which enabled them to serve the customers without the need for human interference at most, the bias for automating the process was tailored based on the most frequent scenarios, starting from data collection, frequent and recommended products, UX for each user and expanded to cover functions like Incident management; problem management, order management; contract management, dispatching; real-time information transfer (Expert Market, n.d.).
1.2 Competitive Customer Service Standard
Apart from the CRM system, Amazon implemented all the regular and standard support solutions, such as FAQ, Live Chat, Ticket Center, Live Chat, or Hot Line for assistance, and the greatness came in that all of them integrated and can be assisted across different channels (Al Imran, 2014).
1.3 Customer Service Value
Amazon stated clearly that their main values of Customer Service are to drive new business opportunities, increase customer life value (CLV), and increase customer retention, and they initiated a department under the name of Amazon Incentives to serve these values (Amazon.com, n.d.).
2 Customer Management Strategies
Jeff’s main vision of Amazon were limitless inventory, Customer Care, and High Margin and Lowest cost, give the customers the care and attention they need and they will be your business generator, and Amazon could do that through relying on word of mouth.
2.1 Strategies Key Points
- Protect the relation, where they consider it the most valuable resource.
- Grow the relationship, through several upselling and cross-selling techniques, Amazon could make some users addicted to online purchase.
- Winning Back the customers, especially those who went for rivals such as eBay or Chinese websites, especially U.S. residents notice the high activity to pull them back after long time of inactivity (Moz, 2018).
Figure 1: Sketch by Amazon’s CEO explaining the continous improving for growth and customer experience. (Practicalecommerce.com, 2017)
3 Obstacles of Marketing Strategy
By analysing the mix marketing strategy for Amazon, we can see they had a robust communicate with the target market, the mixture of promotional practices they followed varying from advertising, sales promotions, direct sales, or PR, all enabled to widen the company’s reach (FERGUSON, 2017).
3.1 Challenges of the Marketing
As experts saying (2015), that marketing was not the main factor of Amazon success, it was the scale of their operations where none of the competitors could, not even Alibaba which tell today have some geographical boundaries, but it was how to market their market competitive, and attract them to their new products such as Prime, AWS, Alexa and others, with retaining the brand identity (McKevitt, 2016).
Figure 2: Up to date list for Amazon Produts (Mintrest.com, 2018)
3.2 Resistance from the community
Over the time capturing customers’ data was essential to serve them better, target them, and to enable remarketing, however with the raise of the volume of captured data, or the lended from data providers, users showed a level of caution of providing their personal data, which turns to be an obstacle of introducing new technologies, or rescale it, rather than market it from the from place such as AmazonGo (Chaffey, 2018)
Figure 3: Amazon’s shares declined after rumors of getting involved with data purchase from Cambrdige Analytica during Facebook’s accusation of data breach (Businessinsider.com, 2018)
4 Alliance Strategy
They used to say “If you can’t beat them, work with them”, but Amazon had different opinion instead to acquire them, Amazon started to reshape their vision to be “The Everything Store”.
4.1 Strategic acqusitions
It is clear through the recent acquision that the company seeking the best in their field, or their region to add them to their family (Desjardins, 2018), let’s take different examples:
- Audible: Amazon started their ebooks business Kindle and owning the audiobook leader is indeed a great added value.
- Twitch: The number one destination for gamers live streaming, and main channel for eSports competition, definetly good competitor for Google’s rival Youtube Games.
- Souq.com: Expanding into the Middle East required twime to invest into their infrastructure, instead they simply acquired the e-commerce leader website.
- WholeFoodsMarket: The biggest acqusition recorded yet for Amazon, where they could expand the independence of the participants, and simply allowing buying grocery online never been easier
Figure 4: List of Amazon’s acqutisions before WFM (Techcrunch.com, 2017)
4.2 Oraganisational Structure with Alliances
You do not go for the best and teach them how to do their work, the established relationship between Amazon and partners were just empowering their resources, and enabling the technology into their operations, which could maximise the benefit for both partiess (Palmquist, 2014).
5 Amazon CSR initiatives
Unlike Microsoft, Amazon was not well known for their contribution in the society, in fact they have scored 25 out of 100 ESG ranking in comparison for 98 out of 100 for the first (CSRHub, 2018). Also they do not disclose about their contributions or participants in reports, just a media press and statements which make it a bit.
5.1 Corporate Responsibility
At the beginning of 2018, customers of Amazon Prime noticed a different packaging, and later at CR magazine review they reported that Amazon moving towards a sustainable packaging, renewable energy, and eco-friendly practices, yet it was not very clear whether it was really a move to cut cost, especially they reported that the loss of packages of at least $1.6 trillion worldwide (3p Editors, 2018).
5.2 Amazon Initiatives
The greatest on official records by the annual report for Amazon, was the initiatives towards the nations, like feeding homeless people in America, public libraries for African countries, running donation campaigns or empowering workers (Dudovskiy, 2018), yet there was lack of resources to track those
Figure 5: Amazon Smile is an intitiave donate portion of the profit to charity (Community Crunch, 2018)
* NOTE: This research published within Master study for London School for Business and Finance.
** Published in LinkedIn Pulse: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/amazoncom-customer-management-process-sadeq-jaafar/
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